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Process for becoming a maintainer

Depending on the status of your current organization, the process for becoming a maintainer may differ as described below:

Your organization is not yet a maintainer

  1. Express interest to the senior maintainers that your organization is interested in becoming a maintainer. Becoming a maintainer generally means that you are going to be spending substantial time (>25%) on TiKV for the foreseeable future. You are expected to have domain expertise and be extremely proficient in Rust. Ultimately your goal is to become a senior maintainer that will represent your organization.
  2. We will expect you to start contributing increasingly complicated PRs, under the guidance of the existing senior maintainers.
  3. We may ask you to do some PRs from our backlog.
  4. As you gain experience with the code base and our standards, we will ask you to do code reviews for incoming PRs (i.e., all maintainers are expected to shoulder a proportional share of community reviews).
  5. After a period of approximately 2-3 months of working together and making sure we see eye to eye, the existing senior maintainers will confer and decide whether to grant maintainer status or not. We make no guarantees on the length of time this will take, but 2-3 months is an approximate goal.

Your organization is currently a maintainer

  1. First decide whether your organization really needs more people with maintainer access. Valid reasons are "blast radius", a large organization that is working on multiple unrelated projects, etc.
  2. Contact a senior maintainer for your organization and express interest.
  3. Start doing PRs and code reviews under the guidance of your senior maintainer.
  4. After a period of 1-2 months, the existing senior maintainers will discuss granting a "standard" maintainer access.
  5. "Standard" maintainer access can be upgraded to "senior" maintainer access after another 1-2 months of work and another conference among the existing senior maintainers.

Maintainer responsibilities

  • Monitor email aliases.
  • Monitor Slack (delayed response is perfectly acceptable).
  • Triage GitHub issues and perform pull request reviews for other maintainers and the community.
  • During GitHub issue triage, apply all applicable labels to each new issue. Labels are extremely useful for follow-up of future issues. Which labels to apply is somewhat subjective so just use your best judgment. A few of the most important labels that are not self explanatory are:
    • beginner: Mark any issue that can reasonably be accomplished by a new contributor with this label.
    • help wanted: Unless it is immediately obvious that someone is going to work on an issue (and if so assign it), mark it help wanted.
    • question: If it's unclear if an issue is immediately actionable, mark it with the question label. Questions are easy to search for and close out at a later time. Questions can be promoted to other issue types once it's clear they are actionable (at which point the question label should be removed).
  • Make sure that ongoing PRs are moving forward at the right pace or closing them if they are not moving in a productive direction.
  • Participate when called upon in the security release process. Note that although this should be a rare occurrence, if a serious vulnerability is found, the process may take up to several full days of work to implement. This possibility should be taken into account when discussing time commitment with employers.
  • In general continue to be willing to spend at least 25% of your time working on TiKV (~1.25 business days per week).
  • We currently maintain an "on-call" rotation within the maintainers. Each on-call is 1 week long. Although all maintainers are welcome to perform all of the above tasks, it is the on-call maintainer's responsibility to triage incoming issues/questions and marshal ongoing work forward. To reiterate, it is not the responsibility of the on-call maintainer to answer all questions and do all reviews, but it is their responsibility to make sure that everything is being actively covered by someone.

Cutting a release

We do releases approximately every 6 weeks. Here is how a regular release goes out:

  1. Decide on the somewhat arbitrary time when a release will occur.
  2. Take a look at open issues tagged with the current release, by searching for "is:open is:issue milestone:[current milestone]". Make your call on holding them off until they are fixed or bump them to the next milestone.
  3. Do a final check of the changelog and make any needed corrections.
  4. Wait for tests to pass on master.
  5. Create a tagged release. The release should start with "v" and be followed by the version number. E.g., "v1.6.0". This must match the version in Cargo.toml.
  6. Open a PR on the Website repo to reflect the new release.
  7. If possible post on Twitter (or, ask @hoverbear to do it).
  8. Do a new PR to update Cargo.toml to the next development release. E.g., "1.7.0-dev".

When does a maintainer lose maintainer status

If a maintainer is no longer interested or cannot perform the maintainer duties listed above, they should volunteer to be moved to emeritus status. In extreme cases this can also occur by a vote of the maintainers per the voting process below.

Conflict resolution and voting

In general, we prefer that technical issues and maintainer membership are amicably worked out between the persons involved. If a dispute cannot be decided independently, the maintainers can be called in to decide an issue. If the maintainers themselves cannot decide an issue, the issue will be resolved by voting. The voting process is a simple majority in which each senior maintainer receives two votes and each normal maintainer receives one vote.

Adding new projects to the TiKV GitHub organization

New projects will be added to the tikv organization via GitHub issue discussion in one of the existing projects in the organization. Once sufficient discussions have taken place (normally 3-5 business days but depending on the volume of conversation), the maintainers of the project where the issue was opened (since different projects in the organization may have different maintainers) will decide whether the new project should be added. See Conflict resolution and voting if the maintainers cannot easily decide.

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